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Buy Google Self Driving Car


Waymo LLC, formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, is an American autonomous driving technology company headquartered in Mountain View, California. It is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.




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Google's development of self-driving technology began in January 2009,[1] at the company's Google X lab run by co-founder Sergey Brin.[2] The project was launched by Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) and Anthony Levandowski, founder of 510 Systems and Anthony's Robots.[3][4] The project was renamed Waymo in December 2016 following a corporate restructuring of Google.


Waymo operates commercial self-driving taxi services in Phoenix, Arizona and San Francisco, CA. In October 2020, the company expanded the service to the public, and it was the only self-driving commercial service that operates without safety backup drivers in the vehicle at that time.[5][6][7][8] Waymo also develops driving technology for use in other vehicles, including delivery vans and Class 8 tractor-trailers for delivery and logistics.[9]


Google's development of self-driving technology began on January 17, 2009,[1] at the company's secretive Google X lab run by co-founder Sergey Brin.[2] The project was launched by Sebastian Thrun, the former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) and Anthony Levandowski, founder of 510 Systems and Anthony's Robots.[3][4]


Before working at Google, Thrun and 15 engineers, including Dmitri Dolgov, Anthony Levandowski, and Mike Montemerlo worked together on a digital mapping technology project for SAIL called VueTool.[13] Many of the team members had met at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge where both Thrun and Levandowski had teams competing in the robotic, self-driving car challenge.[14][15] In 2007, Google acqui-hired the entire VueTool team to help advance Google's Street View technology.[13][14][16][17]


In 2008, the Street View team launched project Ground Truth,[19] to create accurate road maps by extracting data from satellites and street views. This laid the groundwork for the Google's self-driving car program.[20]


In February 2008, a Discovery Channel producer for the documentary series Prototype This! called Levandowski.[14][21] The producer requested to borrow Levandowski's Ghost Rider, the autonomous two-wheeled motocycle Levandowski's Berkeley team had built for the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge.[22] However, in 2007, Levandowski had donated the self-driving bike to the Smithsonian.[23] Since the motorcycle was not available, Levandowski offered to retrofit a Toyota Prius as a self-driving pizza delivery car for the show.[14]


As a Google employee, Levandowski asked Larry Page and Sebastian Thrun, if Google was interested in participating in the show. Both declined, citing liability issues.[22] However, they authorized Levandowski to move forward with building the car, given it was clear that it was not associated with Google.[14][24] Within weeks Levandowski founded Anthony's Robots so that he and his team could modify a Toyota Prius without reference to Google.[13] He retrofitted the car with light detection and ranging technology (LiDAR), sensors, cameras, and software from his company 510 Systems and named the prototype, the Pribot.[22] The Pribot was the first self-driving car to drive on public roads.[3] The episode featuring Pribot driving itself and the pizza across the San Francisco Bay Bridge under police escort aired in December 2008.[25][3][24][26]


After the broad press coverage of the Pribot, Levandowski and Thrun were greenlit to launch Google's self-driving car program in January 2009.[22] In 2011, Google quietly acquired Levandowski's technology - the nucleus of Google's self-driving car project,[22] via his two companies, 510 Systems, co-founded alongside Pierre-Yves Droz and Andrew Schultz, and Anthony's Robots for an estimated $20 million.[18][13][25][3][27]


Project Chauffeur ran for almost two years undetected, road testing with seven vehicles before the New York Times revealed their existence on October 9, 2010.[15] Google announced its self-driving car initiative via its blog later the same day.[16][28]


Starting in 2010, lawmakers in various states expressed concerns over how to regulate the emerging technology. Nevada passed a law in June 2011 concerning the operation of autonomous cars in Nevada,[29] which went into effect on March 1, 2012.[30] Google had been lobbying for driverless car laws.[29][31][32] A Toyota Prius modified with Google's experimental driverless technology was licensed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in May 2012.[33] The car was "driven" by Chris Urmson with Anthony Levandowski in the passengers seat.[33] This was the first license issued in the United States for a self-driven car.[30]


In 2015, co-founder Anthony Levandowski left the project. In August 2015, Google hired former Hyundai Motor executive, John Krafcik, as CEO.[38] In fall 2015, Google provided "the world's first fully driverless ride on public roads" to a legally blind friend of principal engineer Nathaniel Fairfield.[39] The ride was taken by Steve Mahan, former CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, in Austin, Texas. It was the first entirely driverless drive on a public road. It was not accompanied by a test driver or police escort.[40] The car had no steering wheel or floor pedals.[41] By the end of 2015, Project Chauffeur had driven more than a million self-driven miles.[18]


In March 2020, Waymo Via was launched after the company's announcement that it had raised $2.25 billion from a group of investors.[50] In May 2020, Waymo raised an additional $750 million, bringing their total outside investment to $3 billion.[51] In July 2020, the company announced an exclusive partnership with auto manufacturer Volvo to integrate Waymo's self-driving technology into Volvo's vehicles.[52][53] In April 2021, John Krafcik stepped down as CEO and was replaced by two co-CEOs: Waymo's COO Tekedra Mawakana and CTO Dmitri Dolgov.[54] Waymo raised $2.5 billion in a second funding round in June 2021,[55][56] with a total funding of $5.5 billion.[11]


Waymo engineers have also created a program called Carcraft, a virtual world where Waymo can simulate driving conditions.[70][71] The simulator was named after the video game World of Warcraft.[70][71] With Carcraft, 25,000 virtual self-driving cars navigate through models of Austin, Texas, Mountain View, California, Phoenix, Arizona, and other cities.[70] As of 2018[update], Waymo has driven more than 5 billion miles in the virtual world.[72]


The Waymo project team has equipped various types of cars with the self-driving equipment, including the Toyota Prius, Audi TT, Fiat Chrysler Pacifica, and Lexus RX450h.[77][78] Google also developed a custom vehicle, approximately 100 of which were assembled by Roush Enterprises with equipment from Bosch, ZF Lenksysteme, LG, and Continental.[79][80]


In May 2016, Google and Stellantis announced an order of 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to test the self-driving technology.[81] Waymo ordered an additional 500 Pacifica hybrids in 2017, and in late May 2018, Alphabet announced plans to add up to 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to the fleet.[82][83] In March 2018, Jaguar Land Rover announced that Waymo had ordered up to 20,000 of its planned electric I-Pace cars at an estimated cost of more than $1 billion.[84][85] Jaguar is to deliver the first I-Pace prototype later in the year, and the cars are to become part of Waymo's ride-hailing service in 2020.[86][87][88]


China's Geely Holding said its premium electric mobility brand, Zeekr, will make electric vehicles for Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving unit, to be deployed as fully autonomous ride-hailing vehicles across the United States.[91]


In 2009, Google began testing its self-driving cars in the San Francisco Bay Area.[93] Google's vehicles have traversed San Francisco's Lombard Street, famed for its steep hairpin turns, and through city traffic. The cars have driven over the Golden Gate Bridge and around Lake Tahoe.[16] The system operates at the speed limit it has stored on its maps and maintains its distance from other vehicles using its system of sensors.[94]


In April 2014, the team announced that their vehicles had logged nearly 700,000 autonomous miles (1.1 million km).[98] In June 2015, the team announced that their vehicles had driven over 1,000,000 mi (1,600,000 km), stating that this was "the equivalent of 75 years of typical U.S. adult driving", and that in the process they had encountered 200,000 stop signs, 600,000 traffic lights, and 180 million other vehicles.[99] Google also announced its prototype vehicles were being road tested in Mountain View, California.[100] During testing, the prototypes' speed did not exceed 25 mph (40 km/h) and had safety drivers aboard. As a consequence, one of the vehicles was stopped by police for impeding traffic flow.[101]


Google took its first driverless ride on public roads in October 2015, when Mahan took a 10-minute solo ride around Austin in a Google "pod car" with no steering wheel or pedals.[104] In 2016, the company expanded its road testing to the dry Phoenix, Arizona, area, and Kirkland, Washington, which has a wet climate.[105] In May 2016, the company opened a 53,000 square foot self-driving technology development center in Novi, Michigan.[106] As of June 2016[update], Google had test driven its fleet of vehicles, in autonomous mode, a total of 1,725,911 mi (2,777,585 km).[107] In August 2016 alone, their cars traveled a "total of 170,000 miles; of those, 126,000 miles were autonomous (i.e., the car was fully in control)".[108]


According to a Waymo report, as of March 2018, Waymo's self-driving technology had driven more than 5 million miles on public roads and more than 5 billion miles via simulation.[72] Waymo's 25,000 virtual self-driving cars travel 8 million miles per day.[70] By October 2018, Waymo had completed 10 million miles of driving on public roads and over 7 billion simulation miles, and by January 2020, 20 million miles of driving on public roads had been completed.[111][112] 041b061a72


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